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SheBelieves Cup: Week 1 for the USWNT

shebelieves cup

With 3 stars above their crest, the U.S Soccer federation and their fans are holding Jill Ellis and the United States Woman’s National Team (USWNT) with high standards.

One of the main reason for the USWNT losing in the Rio Olympics was because of their problem on set pieces and the match against Germany in the first match of the SheBelieves Cup showed that they didn’t have much improvement. There was a bit of a scramble in the box with corner kicks they had against the Germans, but in the end, they still acquired a win on Monday, March 1st.

In Chester, PA, at the 56 minute, the ball was stolen by Christen Press who entered the box and nearly scored a stunning strike but the ball hit the crossbar. Tobin Heath tried to take advantage of the rebound, eventually, her shot was blocked but Lynn Williams took advantage of the second rebound and got it into the net.

With her key saves, Woman of the Match Allie Long, along with Becky Sauerbrunn and Casey Short, held the backline. These 3-back defenders were able to keep Germany from moving forward with the ball and let the USWNT keep their shape on the field leading them to victory over the Germans.

The USWNT has not lost a match on U.S soil since 2015, that was until England’s Ellen White goal on Friday, March 4th. With the chilly winds from an arctic blast, the temperature dropped in Harrison, NJ, about 26,000 fans stayed to witness the scoreless match, that is until the 89th minute because of the defensive miscommunication that cost the U.S. a corner kick in the 88th minute; making set pieces being the issue again.

At just 18 years old, Mallory Pugh was put on the starting 11 as a striker, next to superstar Alex Morgan. Pugh at first started as a winger but then moved up to a striker and with the skills that come along with being a winger, Pugh could cut inside with the ball. With that said, then her connection with Morgan could be what the USWNT needs to score more goal in the future.

Speaking of future, Rose Lavelle, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, made her USWNT debut and her future is looking bright. With her left foot, Lavelle kept the ball moving forward, nutmeg two players and made a good impression on her teammates and coach.

“That is a phenomenal answer I got tonight, Rose Lavelle,” Ellis said. “She was fantastic.”

The only thing fans need to worry about is the set pieces. The team’s future isn’t too bad. Lavelle could bring more creativity to the field while Pugh and Morgan connection could grow stronger and with that, score more goals while having a backline of 3 defenders to help them keep the ball forward.

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